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MARCH 12.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 227
Rex Brynen

MARCH 12, 2012:  News Story: US Soldier who killed 16 Afghanis: Can be seen one of two ways: it could be that it points to the problems of stress and posttraumatic stress disorder (not in right mind). On the other hand, it will give an additional push to the drawdown of U.S. forces, and it is especially controversial after the Qur’an burning incident. Polls are now showing the majority of America believes that the US mission in Afghanistan is unattainable. The political context in the US makes it easy for the next administration to draw down troops faster. It will likely just result in a hastening of the inevitable drawdown and removal of US troops, which will result in a civil war in Afghanistan that the Afghan government will slowly lose.  Dependency approach: the obstacles o MNCs o Primary products (continued dependence and the vulnerability to market fluctuations the dependency approach would point to continue Western dominance) o Technology (dominated by the West) o Debt (debt burden, debt servicing make it difficult for developing countries to ever get out of debt) o The limits of official development assistance (it is simply a “band-aid” when faced with all the structural constrains. It really won’t change the situation because it doesn’t question structural realities.  The rich get richer (there is a big gap- middle income countries are not catching up)  MNCs (dependency approach would look at MNCs and where they’re headquartered- US, Japan, Europe, etc. The major MNCs continue to be Western and make key investment decisions).  Debt (1970s and 1980s saw the emergence of a debt crisis- especially for developing countries. By the mid 1990s, Sun Saharan Africa owed 100% of its GNP to debt.)  Debt (HIPCs) – highly indebted poor countries are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, also some in South America, South Asia, and Central America.)  Official development assistance (most countries are quite- the Western world keeps talking about a 0.7% target but other than the Scandinavian countries no one has been meeting this).  Canadian ODA (is around 0.3% of GDP) Dependency approach: solutions?  Expanded state role/nationalization BUT often bloated, inefficient public sector  Decoupling, ISI? BUT advantages of trade are important- comparative advantages need to be used  Producer Cartels- if you are a primary product producer, you could cooperate with other primary product producers to get a better price (especially if it’s non- renewable) BUT require inelastic product, low stocks (no stockpiling), robust suppliers (who can withstand pressure from people not buying it for a while when the price goes up), cohesion (it falls apart if one person doesn’t reduce their production), control over supply ex) OPEC’s cartel  Dependent capitalist development  BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China) and NICs- the major Western industrial powers are becoming slightly less important, and some developing countries (the BRICs) are getting more of an economic share  Asian growth- China and India’s per capita GDP still has a massive difference, but they are slowly beginning to close the gap (it may take decades).  Trade diversification- developing countries trade with OECD countries. There was a significant growth of manufactures for third world exports from 1990 to 1999. These manufactures are not coming from everywhere though- it’s occurring primarily in the NICs, Brazil, East Asia, but not the entire developing world.  Debt reform- the debt service to exports ratio has declined in the HIPCs from almost a quarter of all money they were earning down to 5 or 10 percent. Although debt is still a problem, debt is less of a problem for the developing world now than it was 10 or 20 years ago.  The big debtors- the United States, UK, Italy, Japan, Greece, (Zimbabwe), proves that not all of the countries deep in debt are developing nations.  Neoliberal approach (became popular in the 1980s and 1990s) states that the real answer to development was to unleash the free market. State intervention and nationalization got in the way of market rationality and had negative development effects. o Free markets (SAPs) o Foreign investment
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